ELIUD Kipchoge knows that the INEOS 1:59 Challenge is a golden opportunity for him to make history and show the world that no human is limited.
He just has to run 26.2 miles on the day in less than two hours.
While he has been training in Kenya, a support team has been working around-the-clock to make the perfect race happen.
And nothing can be left to chance.
They have to control as many of the contributory factors as possible, encouraging them to work in Eliud’s favour without reducing the credibility of the run.
Their job is to ensure that it could one day be — as Performance Manager Peter Vint put it — ‘replicated in the wild’.
And no one is more grateful for all the supporting cast than Eliud.
“It is a huge morale boost for me to have these guys and so many others by my side,” he said.
INEOS has assembled a team of experts from the world of performance and athletics, including from across the wider INEOS sports group.
“My role is to make sure the coach, the nutritionist, the physiotherapist, and the sports doctor are all thinking in the same direction,” said Valentijn Trouw, athletes manager of Global Sports Communication.
As the team in Vienna perfected the conditions for the big day, Eliud was at his training camp in Kaptagat, where all the focus was to get his body and mind in shape.
With a month to go, the 150 staff and 24 pacemakers conducted a run of successful tests in The Prater, Vienna.
“To bring together so many world-class athletes for a weekend of testing was very special,” said Valentijn. “All the pacemakers who came to Vienna, and those who could not make it, are very excited and honoured to be given the opportunity to support Eliud in trying to make history.”
He said for the pacemakers to even run 5km at Eliud’s pace was not easy.
“They have all had to work very hard,” he said.
Fran Millar, CEO Team INEOS, said the most important aspect of the challenge was the time.
“Our aim is to ensure nothing is left to chance in the bid to give Eliud the best possible opportunity to make history,” she said. “Eliud believes he can do it. And he needs – and has – a team around him who believe he can do it.”